May 4, 2020

Over the past several weeks, we have seen how fast things change on both a global and individual human level. While the full impact of the COVID-19 crisis is still unknown, the stories of human resilience, love, and generosity continue to flood in. 

On #GivingTuesdayNow, Tampa Bay Wave asks you to continue to keep good going and be part of the tide of hope as it raises money for the Rising Relief Fund, knowing that together, we are stronger. 

As you may know, Wave launched the Rising Tide Relief Fund a few weeks ago when it saw a need in within its startup community to provide microloans to some of 60 startups within its accelerator, who collectively employ 1,000 people. Thanks to your generosity, Wave has raised $12,000 to date which it will use as a lifeline to startups who were on the path to success when this crisis hit.

What we have learned since this campaign launched, is that startups are often not eligible for disaster relief programs, and many have been passed over by banks in favor of larger, more established businesses, making the Rising Tide Relief Fund even more important. 

This fund is about more than just about startups – it is about their employees and their families, as well as the overall economic future for Tampa Bay. 

Innovation does not stop when a crisis hits. In some cases, that crisis may accelerate solutions in the marketplace. In other cases, it may permanently shut down a company who was on the verge of launching their product or service. The challenge is that funding and innovation do not always go hand in hand – and this is one of those times. 

Tampa Bay Wave has a tremendous number of innovative companies who are helping our world in new and interesting ways, but some of these companies are at critical points in their growth, making them especially vulnerable during the COVID-19 crisis. 

In some cases, company founders have not been taking a paycheck or have been using contract workers, meaning they are not eligible for payroll assistance. In other cases, companies are actively pitching investors, with discussions delayed due to the current crisis. And in other situations, beta tests have slowed or stalled as more partners readjust their priorities. 

On #GivingTuesdayNow we ask you to open your heart – and your wallet – to make a difference by donating to the Rising Tide Relief Fund and sharing this key initiative with those you know. Every contribution counts. #RisingTideTB #GivingTuesdayNow